Four Faces of the Gospels I Why are these books in the order that they are? A. Matthew serves as a link to the Hebrew OT; obviously to the Jews. 1. He bridged the 400 year gap between the OT and the NT. 2. “That it might be fulfilled” is found at least 12 times. 3. Matthew has the most references to the OT. B. Mark moved into Gentile relations, evidently emphasis is to non-Jews. 1. He is associated with Peter later – 1 Pet. 5:13. 2. He offered no genealogy 3. He used “fulfill” only twice. 4. He emphasized the work of the “Wonder-worker.” C. Luke also related to the Gentiles. 1. He emphasized the humanity of Jesus. 2. He used “Son of man” more than the others. D. John looked back across the century to the church. 1. He emphasized the historical Jesus is the Messiah. 2. He wrote long after the other three gospels had circulated. 3. He was the living eye witness providing a climax to the story. II Is there a significant parallel? (Explore the Book, J. Sidlow Baxter, Vol. 5, p. 120) Ezekiel 1:10ff Four Gospels Lion Ox Man Eagle Matthew: Messiah & King Mark: Jesus the servant Luke: Son of man John: Son of God III Is there progression in the endings of the Gospels? A. Matthew ends with the resurrection B. Mark ends with the ascension C. Luke ends with the promise of the Spirit D. John ends with the promise of the second coming: “tarry till I come.” IV Why the differing characteristics? A. Matthew – a tax collector and a Jew wrote to the Jews; there is more mention of money than the other three. 1. This book proves the promised Messiah has come. a. There is more linkage to the OT. b. There are more than 50 OT quotations. c. “Kingdom” is used more than 35 times, more than others. d. “Son of David” used at least 9 times. e. Matthew records 20 miracles, out of 33. 2. This book provides answer to the promise to Abraham. a. Chapter one genealogy emphasizes from Abraham. b. Genealogy proves many promises fulfilled. c. Matthew gives great encouragement to Jewish converts. d. A new Israel, “Spiritual Israel” rises out of the ashes of physical Israel – just as God had promised. B. Mark, son of Mary (Acts 12:12), cousin to Barnabas (Col. 4:10), coworker with Peter (1 Pet. 5:13), wrote to non-Jews. 1. He obviously wrote to the Romans. a. Else, why explain Jewish traditions? – 2:1-4 b. Else, why explain conditions in Palestine? – 11:13 c. Else, why explain money? – 12:42 2. Mark emphasized the deeds of Jesus. a. He wrote only 638 verses, but recorded 18 miracles. b. He recorded only 1 sermon of Jesus – 13:3-17 c. He had no genealogy. d. He used “fulfill” only twice. C. Luke was the Gentile physician (Col. 4:14), and wrote to Gentiles. 1. Luke emphasized the humanity of the Lord. a. Genealogy followed the blood line, not the legal line. – 3 (1.) His record did not stop with Abraham. (2.) It went all the way back to Seth and Adam. (3.) It went beyond the legalities of the Law of Moses. b. He records weeping (19:41) and sweating (22:44). c. Luke gives more prayers, 11 out of a total of 15 in NT. d. He tells of 20 miracles. e. The birth of the virgin is given more emphasis. (1.) Chapter 1 (80 verses) and 2 (52 verses) have a total of 132 verses out of the book’s total of 1152. (2.) Nearly 1/10 of entire book devoted to his birth. (3.) Why would a medical doctor so write? (4.) He gives o’whelming evidence. (5.) There must have been clear evidence to persuade this medical doctor! 2. Luke also provides the international flavor. a. ”All the people” – 2:10 b. “Revelation to the Gentiles” – 2:32 c. Story of the Samaritan – 10:25-37 D. John, brother of James, was among the inner circle of the Lord, present at the transfiguration, etc. 1. John emphasized the deity of Jesus – 1:1-3, 14, 10:30. 2. His gospel opens and closes with an emphasis on deity. 3. John gave the seven times “I Am” was declared: a. Bread – 6:35 b. Light – 8:12 c. Door – 10:7 d. Good shepherd – 10:14 e. Resurrection and life – 11:25 f. Way, truth and life – 14:6 g. Vine – 15:1 4. John emphasized the signs of Jesus. a. This is a major purpose of the book – 20:30-31. b. The signs, if all written, could not be contained – 21:25. 5. John wanted the church to remember the breadth of the signs. a. Over time – water into wine – 2:1-11 b. Over space – nobleman’s son – 4:46-54 c. Over infirmity – man at the pool – 5:1-18 d. Over matter – loaves and fish – 6:1-14 e. Over gravity – walking on water – 6:16-21 f. Over congenital defects – blind man – 9:1-41 g. Over death – Lazarus – 11:1-44 V Conclusion A. France has the “Arch de Triumphe.” 1. Built between 1806 – 1836 due to Napoleonic conquests. 2. 160 feet in height 3. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the foot after WW I B. The NT has an “Arch de Eternity” Matthew on the left side, Mark on top, Luke on the right side, with John as the foundation, the under-girding of all the deity of Jesus. C. The Gospels present a complete picture to all generations. 1. Matthew shows “the Fulfiller” to the Jews. 2. Mark presents “the Wonder Worker” to the Romans. 3. Luke argues the humanity, “the Man,” to the Gentiles. 4. John reminds that Jesus was “truly God” to the church. Roy H. Lanier P. O. Box 2926 Lakeland, FL 33806
"Four Faces of the Gospels"